#BookReview: The Stallion and His Peculiar Boy by M.J. Evans #WWII @bookroar_tweets
Hi everyone. Today I have a book review for you from an author new to me, who I discovered via BookRoar, M J Evans. This is an interesting historical read with history about horses I never knew until now. Here’s my review >>>
About the Book:
World War II is raging. Hitler is hiding away the world’s most beautiful purebred horses in a little village in Czechoslovakia. Lipizzaners, Thoroughbreds and the prize Polish Arabians are being used in his experiments to create the perfect war horse. A peculiar twelve-year-old boy from the village named Teodor becomes the groom for one of those special horses – Witez II, one of the most famous Arabian stallions of all time. Witez helps the boy face his challenges and find his voice at a time when little is known about the condition now called “Autism.” The Stallion and His Peculiar Boy blends the suspense of a World War II military rescue operation with the subsequent challenges of resettlement in a new land. Click “Buy Now” on the right to begin the adventure!
An Interesting Historical WWII Read
Personally, I would have preferred a book about the autistic boy rather than about the Arabian Stallion, Witez II (pronounced Veetez). The fascinating history of these thoroughbreds and Hitler’s breeding programs, which used stolen horses, could have still been told in vivid detail but with the added bonus of giving the reader a character they could relate to and connect with much more than they can with the horse as the main focal point. The author’s note indicates that Teodor is a fictional character while the horse actually existed; however, I feel much more could have been done to bring alive the experiences and struggles of those with Autism and their carers.
In summary, we have a war raging, an angry husband, a cowed mother, and a son with a condition nobody understood at the time … Autism. The author gives credible descriptions of the behavioural habits and all the other issues which arise from Autism, as well as the knock-on effects to the family and anyone who comes into contact with the twelve-year-old boy. Unfortunately, because the main focus followed the horse, the author missed a great opportunity to bring alive Teodor’s character for the reader.
On the whole, the writing comes across as passive, shifts scenes with no indication to orient the reader, and suffers from filler words and repetition. Despite all of that, the narrative manages to engage the reader and, certainly, intrigued me. Below are some lines which stood out for me …
‘I like a man of few words. They listen better.’
‘The dog walked slowly over to the young man and sat beside him. His howling stopped. He had no more to say.’ … Sorrow so wonderfully expressed for man and dog.
‘Were it not for Witez, he might still be living in that room with no dreams at all.’
All in all, I found this a touching story about a fictional Autistic boy and a true-story of a horse. It brings the reader intriguing history while also being an entertaining read. I give The Stallion and His Peculiar Boy 3.5 stars, which I round up to 4 for rating purposes.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …
I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂